New PAIN Single Black Knight Satellite is Reassuring

Time leaches almost every band’s unique sound more and more every release.  With lineup changes, pressure from record companies, and the pursuit of fame, many bands slowly crumble.  In a world regular humans are incapable of seeing, is a graveyard of bands metalheads used to like, before they sold out, or started to sound too much like pop music.  Any one who’s traced a band’s discography from early demos to their latest music video steps carefully here.  Learning that there is new music from your favorite artist can be bad news.  There’s always a good chance that the tracks are poorly mixed, or worse–the vocals are layered and modified into oblivion.  One’s darkest fear of all is that the new songs will sound closer to Kanye West than Metallica.

Peter Tagtgren has had a lot of success.  Most people know him as the frontman for Hypocrisy, or through his solo project, PAIN.  In the last year, he also released the album Skills in Pills with Till Lindemann of Rammstein, under the name Lindemann.  Peter’s work, whether alone or with others, has earned him an international cult following that mostly lives online.  When I heard the news, that there would be a new album and single, I wasn’t overly worried that the new stuff would be a nosedive in quality.  Peter is capable of making diverse sounding music, but he understands that going in a new artistic direction means a new project, with a new name.

Image result for Pain Dark Knight Sattelite  The new PAIN single, Black Knight Satellite, maintains the sound that fans recognise as PAIN.  This is a relief.  Black Knight Satellite will also be on the new album Coming Home.  I am inferring from this, that the other tracks will sound similar.  If the rest of Coming Home sounds like that, then we can all rest easy that PAIN hasn’t sold out.  That being said, I urge you all to go listen to the new single, protected by the foreknowledge that it won’t be an utter disappointment.

 

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“Let go of my throat”

An off duty cop in Massachusetts pins man to the sidewalk for using the crosswalk:

Hmm, reminds me of another man (formerly)of law enforcement over-zealously attacking  a civilian.  I’m seeing a pattern here.

 

Science and Religion Mix– but Should They?

retractionwatch.com/2016/03/02/hands-are-the-proper-design-by-the-creator-plos-one-paper-suggests

Many are wondering why the now infamous Plos One paper, Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living, was published.  In case you aren’t familiar with it, the paper has come under fire by scientists for its mentions of “the Creator” and intelligent design.  Some are wondering if it was proper to retract the piece at all.

“The biomechanical characteristic of [the human hand] is the proper design by the Creator”

–Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living

Jabs about creationists aside, the debate over how the paper passed reviewer’s judgement should take a step back.

One good point that has been raised is that we should tolerate calm discussion of different points of view in academia.  On the surface, I agree with that statement. However, in this context, it does not apply.  A scientific paper should not debate matters of theism, philosophy, etc.  This should be left to the liberal arts.  Philosophy exists for weighing different ideas, views, and truths–such as if there is evidence of a “Creator.”

Secondly, the paper does not try to argue that “the Creator” exists and designed human hands.  It is merely an offhand mention.  Since the authors are not intending to convince you of “the Creator’s” existence, I would say this is simply inappropriate wording.  It was a poor decision to bring religion and deities into a banal piece about fingers.  Not to mention that is risks alienating Plos One’s reader base.  If I were the editor, I’d be a bit embarrassed right now.

Finally, I need to mention that the authors have claimed that “the Creator” is a poor translation of a Chinese saying, which was intended to mean nature.  I don’t speak Chinese, but I think it’s a fair point–translations are not always accurate.  It can be difficult to convey the feelings and ideas associated with certain foreign words and phrases to an English audience.

We can only wait and see how Plos One manages the blunder. It’s also pertinent to say that the retraction of somebody’s work can ruin their career, their livelihood.  Will the authors regain respect in their field, or be dismissed as creationists?

Huffpo Restores Faith in Humanity, Readership Disappoints

www.huffingtonpost.com/zachary-zane/bisexuals-passing-and-straight-privilege_b_9374272.html?utm_hp_ref=queer-voices

Notice all of the biphobia in the comments.  Arguments include:

  1. Bisexuals are broad group, which includes “the curious” and “buffet tasters,” therefore making it difficult to tell if somebody is “truly bisexual.”
  2. It is ok to question somebody’s sexuality when you find out they are bi.
  3. Suggesting that bisexuals are unhappy in monogamous relationships.

Now I will refute each commenter’s point:

  1. If somebody identifies as bisexual, they are bisexual unless they say otherwise.  I don’t walk around telling lesbians they aren’t queer enough, so why should you insinuate bi folks aren’t queer enough either?
  2. Try asking a straight(or gay) person details about their sex life and sexuality upon first meeting them, to determine their “true” sexuality.  Should I get some ice for the punch you will surely receive? If they say they are bi, they are bi!  Can you even imagine how hurtful it would be, to have people deny your identity, without even knowing anything about you?
  3.   I am bisexual and have no interest in polyamorous relationships.  I’m sure there are so-called “unicorns” out there, of course, but not all bisexuals are polyamorous.  This is a common stereotype, often paired with the belief that bisexuals are greedy.

In conclusion: If they say they are bi, they are bi!

IF THEY SAY THEY ARE BI, THEY ARE BI!

Get it through your thick skulls.

 

 

 

I got Offended and Flustered in a Bookstore

I was bored, and at a shopping mall. I went into a Chapters, a huge bookstore chain in Canada.  I love to mill about in Chapters and peruse interesting books and seeing what’s popular.

I made my way to the back of the store, and in the tiny LGBTQIA(Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) section, my faith in humanity was struck down.  There was a clear spot on the shelf for Dan Savage‘s latest book, American Savage.  To make matters worse, it was obvious that the stack of books was once thicker, and now only one copy remained.  I can only assume this means that people are picking up American Savage, paying for it, and reading it.  I absolutely detest, straight to my core,(possibly too fervently) Dan Savage.  I believe that he should have been charged for hate speech a long time ago and that Indigo Books & Music Inc. should not sell his books.  I beg of you, !ndigo, to dispose of your stock of American Savage.  I plan on directly contacting the company later with my complaint.

“It is not crazy when you meet a bi person to wonder if they are really bi. It isn’t disrespectful. It is rational.” Dan Savage in an interview.

Many people don’t understand my beef with Dan Savage.  First off, he’s a loose cannon, making intolerant remarks often–he once said, “(GPC Candidate Carl Romanelli) should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”  It doesn’t matter who Romanelli is, I don’t want to support someone who speaks so violently.  Savage is well-known amongst writers as someone who bullies people who criticize him in columns and blogs(He patronizingly laments the “hordes of angry bisexuals” who send him mail).  Savage has a long-standing reputation of Bi Erasure(a form of Biphobia diminishing and denying Bisexuality): stating that bisexual men don’t exist, that gay people should not date bisexuals, and that bisexuals should only date other bisexuals(source).  He blames Biphobia on bisexuals not coming out of the closet to prove stereotypes wrong– when things would change drastically if people like him, with a large audience, would stop enforcing negative assumtions around bisexuality.  In the past he has also been critiqued for using the term “tranny,” which is generally considered a slur against trans people.  The worst part is that, as a well-liked figure, people believe his unfair statements.

Dan Savage has built his career on Shut Up Dan Savageinflammatory rants and crassly stated opinions via a popular sex and relationships advice column.  He entertains people, much like how we all love to hate Donald Trump bumble and rave about certain groups of people.  The difference is that Savage is perceived as a good role-model partly because of his activism and the It Gets Better Project.  Still, it’s not okay to spread harmful judgements about people he knows nothing about.  Bisexuals and their allies want to stop feeling rejected from the gay, lesbian, and trans community.  Their sexuality is valid, and I hope !ndigo and other bookstores can reflect that truth by refusing to provide a podium for hatred.

  Everyone needs to hold Dan Savage to account for his hurtful words.

Hey Barbie, Let’s Talk

Mattel has just revealed their new Barbie “Fashionistas” dolls that activists and the company are calling “reflective of the world (girls) see today.”(hey, boys can play with Barbies too!) Parents and collectors alike can now pre order them online, which come in “Petite,” “Curvy,” “Tall,” and “Original” body types. There are precisely 7 skin tones, 22 eye colours, and 24 hairstyles.

I’m really loving the curvy, tall, and short body types.  Regrettably, Mattel, I’ve still got a bone to pick with you.

First off: gingers(or redheads.)  There are two dolls; one with brilliant vermillion hair, the other a more orangey shade, with (supposedly) natural red hair. This is great–orange hair is a recessive gene, making gingers a minority(1-2% of the population), and even people of color can have this trait.  Gingers with white skin are usually quite fair-skinned.  Freckles, moles, Rosacea, and other kinds of discoloration are common among this group.  The orange haired doll has a few moles on her face, so bravo to the creator. The doll with red, red hair has uniform skin. I had a friend with hair naturally that colour, and she was covered in (wonderful)freckles. This isn’t to say that all people with red hair are freckle-covered, but I think we can all agree that many fair skinned people have moles, ruddy skin, and freckles galore. Especially with such red hair and the skin that typically goes with it. I would love to see a Barbie Doll with even a peppering of freckles across the bridge of her nose and cheekbones–plenty of kids and adults look like this, as opposed to the even-skinned dolls Barbie has always sold.

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 29 Terrific Teal - Tall - Shop.Mattel.comBarbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 16 Team Glam - Original - Shop.Mattel.com

 

Secondly, Barbie needs to lay off the Rhinoplasty. Every freaking doll has a tiny “button” nose. My dog has a (relatively)bigger nose than any Barbie–and he’s a Pug, who has

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 25 Blue Brocade - Petite - Shop.Mattel.com

RIP Breathing

trouble breathing if the temperature changes too much. Noses come in all sorts of sizes and shapes–just like the rest of our bodies.  For most of my childhood and teen years, I was incredibly dissatisfied with my big, “ugly” nose. There is no famous woman I can think of(other than Uma Thurman) that has a nose typically considered “unappealing.” By the way, Thurman still gets slammed for her appearance, when she isn’t even in the spotlight. Can you imagine how strange it would be, to grow up never seeing somebody who looked like you? Point made, moving on.

 

One last thing I’d like to mention is that the proportions of Barbie are still unrealistic. For example, “Petite” does not always mean skinny.  The “Petite” sized dolls are like a shorter version of the “Original” Barbie. Do the creators of Barbie actually think everyone under 5’4(and over 6ft, for that matter) is super skinny? I’d suggest adding “Petite Curvy” and “Tall Curvy” Dolls to the mix at a later date.

Honorable Mentions and Positive Highlights of the New Barbies:

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 32 Dolled Up Denim - Curvy - Shop.Mattel.com

This doll looks exactly like Jackie Brown, from the Tarantino movie of the same name. It’s uncanny!

Barbie® Fashionistas™ 44 Leather & Ruffles Doll & Fashions - Tall  - Shop.Mattel.com

This Doll, which looks like Jennifer Lawrence(sort of).

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 19 Ruby Red Floral - Original - Shop.Mattel.com

An Asian Barbie! The new Line has a few other Asian Dolls, too.

 

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 23 Love That Lace - Petite - Shop.Mattel.com

This doll, which has more realistic blond hair than the platinum locks of the Original Barbie(and it has a boss haircut).

Barbie® Fashionistas™ Doll 33 Fab Fringe - Tall - Shop.Mattel.com

This one has an awesome afro. It’s great to see Barbies with short hair!(Short hair isn’t just for lesbians… and even if she is gay, how is that a bad thing?)

 

Barbie® Fashionistas™ 43 Lacey Blue Doll & Fashion - Tall  - Shop.Mattel.com

Another Barbie with a mole!

Barbie® Fashionistas™ 39 Emoji Fun Doll & Fashions - Curvy  - Shop.Mattel.com

Your hair and glasses are on point, girl!

Amateur Etymologist Fun

Most native English speakers  hate hearing the word rucksack. For some reason, it grates on their senses. Did you know that there’s more to this ugly noun than meets the ear?  There’s a reason why the synonym for backpack is the way it is. First of all, English is a Germanic language. The German word for back, the body part your mom constantly complains about, is Ruecken.  Der Ruecken is the back, for example. Do you see the connection? Rucksack. Ruecken. In addition, the German word Sack translates to bag in English.

In short: a rucksack is actually a backbag!

This has been Amateur Etymologist Fun on Real Eccentric!

Read more about the word rucksack here (interestingly enough, the word Bergen in German mean mountains in English.

The Artist Among the Manufactured

Since the death of David Bowie, I’ve been feeling pretty blegh…  I guess I’m having a mini existential-crisis. With him gone, I’m wondering: who will be the “mainstream” face of breaking the line between “men’s clothing” and “women’s clothing?”

I really like movies, and when I was a young teen, I saw the movies Cabaret(with Liza Minelli) and Victor Victoria(with Julie Andrews).  They are definitely on the (non-existent)list of my favorite movies ever. I remember watching them and thinking, “I wanna be like that.”  I wanted to sing and dance and cross-dress.

tumblr_lwj92wokfm1qd9mnzo1_500

Lucas Lanthier

I saw some interesting pictures today of Lucas Lanthier, a musician I found out about only this week(oh, the joys of The Internet).  In one he is wearing thick black mascara, red lipstick, and a ghostly pallor. The other, a lilac dress.  These two photos inspire me, and I hope they inspire those who are looking at them right now.  Lanthier, however, is not a “mainstream” artist, so one must brave the depths of Tumblr to see more of his bold outfits.

To me, David Bowie was a true artist, someone whose life was a work of art. What he wore, what he said, what he did, all created his Magnum Opus.

tumblr_llbl9f0bnc1qdt9wso1_400

Lucas Lanthier(in a dress)

When he left, a hole was blown in the fortress of pop culture. The world needs somebody who will be the artist among the manufactured. Someone who will break barriers, challenge society, and make tunes that can be played on the radio in your dentist’s office.

And so, the crisis continues. To reiterate; who will be the “mainstream” face of breaking the line between “men” and “women?” Is it me?  Is it you? Is it us?

My Top Tip for a Happy New Year

Pro-Tip: Saying something negative about how skinny or how little someone eats when they have an eating disorder doesn’t magically make them love themselves.

It seems most people have forgotten how feelings and sympathy work. Even if nobody says it, just the belief that “punishing” someone with an eating disorder by telling them they look scrawny will somehow “fix” the situation is a pretty damaging one. Imagine how embarrassed and ashamed that person feels when they hear a comment like,”ew, you look like a skeleton.”

Put yourself in his or her shoes. I’m sure if you were told you looked like a skeleton, you’d feel pretty hideous(did you see that oxymoron there?). If it were any other perceived flaw, people would see it as a form of bullying.  Having terrible acne comes to mind as a comparable state. Those mean comments that are sometimes excused as trying to be helpful is bullying in disguise.

Another oft forgotten thing is that this weight loss is the result of being sick.  Consider this; is it socially acceptable to put someone down because they’re missing a limb as a result of an illness, like cancer?  It goes without saying that that would be shunned immediately. Looking “skeleton-like” comes from emotional turmoil and low self-esteem. It comes from a realdiagnosable sickness.

Empathy is a good start. Next, you should realize that disordered eating is everywhere.  There are people you know who look “a little on the small side,” but not like the dramatic pictures you’ve seen on the Internet.  Disordered eating is different from an eating disorder. Men and women of all ages can have unhealthy relationships with food.  People of all sorts can hate themselves, too. Not all people with disordered eating are diagnosed, anorexic teen aged girls, as the stereotype is usually portrayed in popular media. The best policy is to be kind and nurturing. The old adage,”if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” applies here.

With all this in mind, the new year can be the year we eradicate this backwards thinking. I hope to see people call others out when this sort of behaviour takes place. Take care of yourselves, take care of each-other, and have a happy 2016.